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October 15, 2019

Awais, Bismillah guide Balochistan to big win


October 15, 2019

KARACHI: Awais Zia and Bismillah Khan smashed solid fifties to enable Balochistan to pull off their first win from two games when they downed Sindh by 52 runs in their second round fixture of the National T20 Cup at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, on Monday.

Awais hit a blistering 48-ball 77 and Bismillah hammered a 30-ball 54 to guide Balochistan to 233-6 after being invited by Sindh’s skipper Asad Shafiq to bat first. The duo added 99 for the second-wicket association. Awais hammered seven sixes and five fours, while stumper Bismillah smacked four sixes and four fours.

All-rounder Amad Butt, near the end, hit a fiery ten-ball 31, smashing four sixes and one four. Young speedster Mohammad Hasnain picked 3-42. Akif Javed (3-42) and Amad Butt (3-32) then bowled superbly to dismiss Sindh for 181 in 19.4 overs. Abid Ali was the leading scorer as he hammered 23-ball 41 which contained two sixes and five fours.

Sarfraz Ahmed, who has opted to give captaincy band to Asad Shafiq for this event, belted 25-ball 36 with two sixes and three fours. Khurram Manzoor (33) and Saud Shakeel (28) were the other main contributors.

In the earlier game of the day, Umar Amin’s 41-ball 50 and a quick-fire 44 not out from Asif Ali helped Northern beat Southern Punjab by five wickets.

Requiring 136, Northern raced to the target in 19 overs after losing five wickets. They lost opener Naved Malik (1) and Rohail Nazir (4) inside 3.1 overs, but a 63-run stand between Umar, who hit six fours and two sixes, and Mohammad Nawaz (24) for the third wicket prevented Southern Punjab’s bowlers from making any further inroads.

There was a ray of hope for Southern Punjab when Zahid Mahmood took Umar’s wicket. But Asif’s blistering 24-ball 44 not out, studded with three fours and three sixes, sealed the match. Zahid (2-14) and Mohammad Irfan (2-19) bowled well.

Southern Punjab’s decision to bat first did not yield the desired result as they lost skipper Shan Masood (8) and Sami Aslam (3) in quick succession with Mohammad Amir taking both the wickets.

Northern’s bowling attack kept a lid on the flow of runs as only Aamer Yamin and Sohaib Maqsood made solid contributions with the bat, scoring 33 off 20 and 25 off 24, respectively. Sohail Tanvir got 3-27.

On Sunday night, Sindh were off to a superb start when they recorded a three-wicket win over Central Punjab in their opener. Sindh rode on the heroics of Khurram Manzoor (50), skipper Asad Shafiq (45) and a late blitz from Anwar Ali (22*) to reach the 189-run target with one ball to spare.

Khurram smashed two sixes and five fours from 42 deliveries. Asad cracked two sixes and four fours from 23 balls. Anwar smacked three fours in his ten-ball fiery work.

Waqas Maqsood got 3-32 while Faheem Ashraf and Usman Qadir got two wickets each. Earlier, Babar Azam led from the front with a solid 102 not out off 59 balls to shepherd Central Punjab to 188-3.

Babar, who hit five sixes and seven fours, added 86 runs for the third wicket with Umar Akmal (34), who smashed two sixes and two fours in his 28-ball knock.

Rizwan Hussain gave good support to Babar as he smacked 15-ball 31 not out, hammering five fours and one six. Mohammad Hasnain got 2-32 in his quota of four overs.